How to Enjoy Holiday Treats without Fattening Up

PhotobucketBy Bonnie Pfiester, Fitness Trainer

Everyone knows it’s easy to gain weight over the Holidays. Christmas parties and yummy treats seem to replace exercise and healthy food. Once high calorie foods are in our view it’s hard to get them out of our head.

Although most people admit going off their diet this time of year, we still act shocked at how fat we feel by New Year’s Day. Did we really eat that much?

Over the years researchers have found we don’t gain quite as much weight during the Holidays as we once thought, but we do gain some weight. I feel like I already gained 10lbs just from Thanksgiving alone. There’s no wonder we end the season feeling like a fat Santa.

First, our bellies stay stuffed. Family and social gatherings are always centered on enormous feasts, making overeating a trend of the season. It’s as if we’ll never be able to eat again. Interestingly enough, no matter how disgusting or fat we feel after pigging out we often repeat our actions the very next day.

Another reason we gain weight is because we snack more. Between large feasts and fancy parties are delicious sweets. Chocolate covered pretzels, fudge, fruit cake, Christmas cookies – you name it, they are all floating around every office in the country. Of course we’re going to eat it! We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings right?

The next explanation for fattening up over the Holidays is because we drink more calories like eggnog, cider and hot chocolate. Alcoholic beverages replace water. All the sudden you’ve added several hundred calories to your day in just beverages alone.

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Lastly we feel fat because we don’t workout as much. If we could just burn as many calories running errands as we do running miles we’d be set.

Unfortunately we trade workouts for shopping and our neglected muscles begin to feel mushy. In the end we feel like Santa looks – no wonder gyms are so busy each New Year!

So how can we survive the Holidays?

We have to make time to work out so we can “afford” to eat the extras if we want them. Doing more cardio makes room for more calories and lifting weights helps you to feel nice and firm instead of fat and flabby.

The Holidays are hard for all of us. As my grandmother once said, “you can’t always change your circumstances, but you can change how you respond to circumstances and that’s what counts.”

Average Calories in Popular Christmas Treats:

  • Chocolate Fudge with nuts: 472 calories (1 serving)
  • Pumpkin Pie: 340 calories (1 slice)
  • Pecan Pie: 503 calories (1 slice)
  • One Brownie: 242 calories, (2” square)
  • Chocolate Covered Pretzels: 190 (13 pretzels)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie: 210 (1 cookie)
  • Eggnog (non-alcoholic): 343 calories (1 cup)
  • Apple Cider: 130 calorie (1 cup)
  • Nestle Hot Cocoa: 112 calories (1 packet)

Approximate Calories Burned During Activity: (calories vary per individual)

  • Walking: 135 calories per hour
  • Walking for exercise: 230 calories per hour
  • Power Walking: 400 calories per hour
  • Jogging: 600 calories per hour
  • Yoga: 240 calories per hour
  • Aerobics: 400 calories per hour
  • Spinning: 440 calories per hour

bonniefit.jpgBonnie Pfiester is a Personal Trainer, wife to the famous fitness trainer Steve Pfiester of the reality TV show “Fat March”, and owner of the women’s health club Longevity Fitness.

You can enjoy more of Bonnie’s fitness and beauty articles at www.BonniePfiester.com or here at the kitchen table by visiting the Bonnie Pfiester page.

You are invited to leave your fitness and sports nutrition questions in the comments below for Bonnie to briefly answer or write about in future articles.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Insomnia: The Best Bedtime Snacks for Insomniacs

insomnianuts.jpgBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

Can the kitchen table cure insomnia?

It might just be the quick fix for a certain type of insomnia.

Everyone knows that eating a big meal before bed is not healthy.

Food just “sits there” and doesn’t optimally digest when we are inactive, as the peristaltic contractions of our gut are enhanced by exercise and movement. Still some people insist they can’t sleep without a bedtime snack. I actually might argue that some people might NEED a bedtime snack. Those that struggle with low blood sugar issues or “hypoglycemia” typically wake up in the middle of the night because of it.

Once awake, they can’t get back to sleep, and can’t figure out why.

I see insomnia as three different tedious breeds. There is the insomnia typically caused by stress when you can’t get to sleep, the insomnia when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, and the insomnia that wakes you up much earlier than the actual time you care to start your day.

You can also be amongst the “lucky ones” and have a combo pack of the three. This unlucky triad is typically the result of high stress, daytime inactivity, alcohol, too bright of a bedroom, and low blood sugar.

The best bedtime snacks are high in protein, fiber, complex carbs, minerals, and the amino acid tryptophan. To ensure a good night’s sleep, be sure to eat a light snack about 90 minutes before your anticipated bedtime. Shoot for 8:30pm if you typically go to bed around ten.

In the presence of carbohydrates, the amino acid tryptophan is able to pass the blood brain barrier, where it is then made into serotonin (the neurotransmitter that makes us happy) and in a dark atmosphere serotonin then converts to melatonin (the hormone that makes us sleepy). Boosting serotonin levels is also beneficial for those with anxiety or depression.

Using these basic rules of biochemistry, I have craftily put together a list of snacks that should induce relaxation as well as ensure proper blood sugar.

The Best Bedtime Snacks for Insomnia:

  • Cottage cheese and fruit.
  • A string cheese and a few whole grain crackers.
  • A small serving of salmon and brown rice.
  • A bowl of oatmeal with almonds.
  • Yogurt, fruit, and wheat germ.
  • Granola and yogurt.
  • Peanut butter on whole grain toast.
  • One egg and a piece of whole grain toast.
  • A fruit smoothie with protein powder.
  • A small bowl of high fiber cereal and milk.
  • A handful of raw cashews, peanuts, or other nuts.
  • Half an avocado and whole grain chips.
  • Half a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread.
  • 3 tablespoons of hummus and veggies or a few whole grain chips.
  • 2 tablespoons of cashew butter and celery decorated with raisins.
  • Rice cakes and cashew or peanut butter.
  • Almonds and apple slices.
  • 3-6 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seeds mixed with applesauce or yogurt.

Additional Tips:

  1. If you have menopausal hot flashes keeping you up at night you might especially benefit from the ground flaxseeds as the lignans have a phyto-estrogenic effect, and the omega-3 oils are very important for ensuring hormonal imbalance.
  2. If you are going nuts from insomnia, nuts just might be the answer as they are high in protein, fiber, and minerals. Eat RAW nuts and raw nut butters to avoid the rancid fats that develop in the roasting process. Roasting turns nuts into “Kitchen Table Villains” that pack on pounds and clog our arteries. Raw nuts such as peanuts and cashews in moderate quantities are a great treat to keep on hand.
  3. The healthiest foods highest in tryptophan are: Cottage cheese, peanuts, salmon, cashews, halibut, shrimp, granola, oatmeal, avocado, turkey, cheese, milk, wheat germ, eggs, collard greens, raisins, chicken, yogurt, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
  4. Try giving up dessert for a week or two, and see if that helps. Most night-time waking is caused by low blood sugar, because Americans commonly eat a sugary evening dessert that jacks their sugar up super high right before bed. As we sleep the sugar then comes crashing back down. The body always wakes us up to alert us of these kinds of imbalances.
  5. Keep in mind that excess fluids before bed also wakes us up, so ultimately it is best to not have any food or drink at least 90 minutes before bed. The older you are, the more you may need to restrict your evening fluids to ensure you don’t need a night-time trip to the restroom. Just be sure you drink up upon waking and stay hydrated throughout the rest of the day.
  6. The ultimate recipe for success is pairing light proteins such as vegetable proteins, turkey, and white cheeses with a high fiber friend such as a fruit, vegetable, or a whole grain choice. These foods also are typically rich in calcium and magnesium, minerals that serve to relax the nervous system and alleviate muscle tension.
  7. Kitchen Table Cliffnote: Protein + Fiber + Minerals= Sound Sleep

What is your favorite bedtime snack?

Recommended Reading for Insomniacs: Sleep, Stress, The Low Glycemic Index Diet, Hypoglycemia, Fiber, Amino Acids and Mood Disorders, Anxiety

Reference: “Medical Nutrition from Marz” by Dr. Russell B. Marz

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~ Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician
www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Are You On the Sumo Wrestler Diet?

PhotobucketBy Bonnie Pfiester Fitness Trainer

Have you ever wondered what Sumo wrestlers eat to look the way they do? Recently, out of curiosity, I decided to do my own research and I was shocked at my findings. The Sumo diet looked a little too familiar.

First, Sumo wrestlers typically eat only two times a day, skipping breakfast to keep their metabolism low. This is also a common practice in America. Whether it’s a lack of time or appetite, many people skip breakfast. I don’t know about you, but the next time I’m tempted to skip breakfast I’ll picture myself as a Sumo wrestler.

The next rule for the overweight athlete is to nap after eating. Their secret to gaining weight is to sleep for at least 4 hours after each meal. Although most American’s don’t take 4-hour naps, we typically return to our office chair with little activity.

Next on the agenda for a weight gaining diet is to eat socially as much as possible. Believe it or not, according to leading researchers, a meal eaten with others can be at least forty percent larger and have thirty percent more calories and fat. The only way to combat this one is to limit eating while socializing and practice self-control.

Another component to the diet is what a Sumo wrestler drinks. Their drink of choice is beer – and lots of it. Alcohol increases cortisol levels helping wrestlers store more fat around their abdomen. That gives a whole new meaning to the term beer belly.

Finally, the wrestler overeats at night. The traditional meal for a Sumo wrestler is a stew, called Chanko-nabe, which is made up of a meat, rice and vegetables. Surprisingly, the stew is not high in fat. The key to their weight gain is the sheer volume of food they eat.

PhotobucketOnce the final meal is eaten, the Sumo wrester hits the sack in order to store as much food as fat instead of storing it in the muscles and organs as nutrients. Similarly, most Americans also eat their largest meal late in the day with little time before going bed. If we don’t go to sleep right away, we do the next best thing which typically includes a couch and a television.

Although this is normally where I would insert a powerful closing statement, I think the Sumo wrestler said it all.

~Bonnie

Bonnie Pfiester is a Personal Trainer, wife to the famous fitness trainer Steve Pfiester of the reality TV show “Fat March”, and owner of the women’s health club Longevity Fitness.

You can enjoy more of Bonnie’s fitness and beauty articles at www.BonniePfiester.com or here at the kitchen table by visiting the Bonnie Pfiester page.

You are invited to leave your fitness and sports nutrition questions in the comments below for Bonnie to briefly answer or write about in future articles.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Autism: Gluten Free?

For a success story involving autism and the GFCF diet, read Jake’s Story.

By Dr. Selena Eon, ND

The prevalence of autistic spectrum disorders appears to be increasing, either through increased incidence or through better diagnosis.

Currently, there is no known cause, and no known cure.

Without a known cure, desperate families are turning to a variety of potential treatments discovered through the internet, television and other parents.

These new therapies may work, however, at this point in time there is no scientific evidence that ANY treatment works for autism.

Without known treatments, families are left with a choice: to either do nothing, or to try alternative treatments. Many families make the choice to try a variety of potential treatments rather than do nothing. These treatments can become expensive.

Frequently, parents need to do something to help even if there’s no scientific data to support the efficacy of the chosen treatment. If your child has autism now, waiting for scientific research validating any treatment could take years, or even decades—while your child goes untreated into adulthood. I certainly understand why a parent would choose to treat rather than to sit by and do nothing! Yet, it is extraordinarily important to ensure that all treatments are not harmful and in the long-term best interest of the affected child and their family.

The GFCF diet is the most popular treatment for autism. The GFCF diet is completely gluten-free and casein-free. Therefore, no wheat, spelt, kamut, triticale, rye, barley, semolina or dairy! As gluten and dairy are frequently found in prepared foods, this diet requires careful attention to detail and should only be implemented when appropriate and with adequate foresight.

Interest towards a GFCF diet as a treatment for autism grew after a study by Cade. 87% of the children in the study had high levels of IgG to gliadin, and that 30% of the children had high levels of antibodies to casein or gluten. An astonishing 81% of the children were considered improved by parent and teacher reports after 3 months on the diet. Unfortunately, this diet study lacked a control group of children who were not following the GFCF diet.

Therefore, the results have been widely discounted by scientists and physicians. I was particularly interested in how the number of children with antibodies to gluten was very similar to those who were considered improved at the end of the trial, leading me to believe that the children who demonstrated improvement on the GFCF diet were likely gluten intolerant or had celiac disease. More on this subject later!

It is incredibly important for scientists to continue investigating the effects of this diet systematically, in well-controlled trials. At the present time, there is no strong research that supports the use of a GFCF diet as a treatment for autism, despite the diet’s position as one of the most popular treatments for autism.

It is hypothesized that some autistic symptoms may be the result of opoid peptides formed in the intestine from incomplete digestion of foods containing gluten and casein. In a person with “leaky gut”—increased gut digestion and gut permeability, the gluten and casein that should be completely digested are not, and these larger molecules are able to pass directly into the bloodstream. In a healthy gut, proteins are digested fully and absorbed as individual peptides (the building blocks of proteins) rather than as complete proteins.

After the gluten/casein enter the bloodstream, they may be capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier—a protective group of cells that selectively allow molecules to enter the central nervous system. The gluten/casein proteins have a similar appearance and chemical makeup to opoids, and may be capable of affecting the internal opiate system and transmission between nerve cells.

Much of this process is not fully understood, but it is possible that opoidlike peptides affect the central nervous system in such a way that increases stereotypical behaviors, ritualistic behaviors, perseveration, hyperactivity, speech/language delays and other oddities frequently seen in autism.

The leaky-gut opoid theory above depends upon the presence of a leaky gut, and there is evidence that points towards this being the case in many causes of autism. It is common for autistic children to experience GI symptoms that could be a result of leaky gut, including diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and reflux. A number of studies have reported significant dysfunction of the gastrointestinal system in autistic children.

As a naturopathic physician, I firmly believe in treating the whole person rather than a “condition” or symptoms. I often spend time thinking about a patient and trying to elicit what is the root cause of their health concerns. The success of the GFCF diet in many cases of autism leads me to wonder if gluten and dairy intolerance are more common in autistic populations.

I don’t believe removing foods from a person’s diet forever is appropriate without good reason to back up the suspicion that the food is problematic. But, I am aware of the tremendous impact that removing problem foods can have on health! It is important to carefully consider each case as an individual before making the decision to remove foods from an autistic child’s diet, and also, to not neglect removing additional foods, as appropriate.

Overt celiac disease presents in at least 1:133 people and may be found in higher rates within the autistic population. It is advisable to test for celiac disease through bloodwork before beginning a gluten-free diet for any reason, including autism treatment. This is because once the person eliminates gluten from their diet, future blood tests are likely to be negative, even if the person does have celiac disease.

Recommended tests to include are: Anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) both IgA and IgG, Anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA) – IgA, Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTG) – IgA andTotal IgA levels.

Patients who test positive in a full celiac panel can then be monitored for compliance with the diet. If they follow the diet, subsequent results (titers) should be lower after a period of time; if they fall off the diet secretly or accidentally, the celiac panel can provide evidence of the lapse. This is particularly helpful if dealing with a child who may sneak unacceptable foods without the family being aware or in situations in which the family may not be following the diet accurately.

But if the patient goes gluten-free without the testing, there will be no pre-diet baseline test results, and no way to objectively assess compliance. Also, as celiac disease is hereditary, a positive test indicates a higher level of suspicion in other family members. Celiac can present with a wide variety of symptoms, some of which are not gastrointestinal, therefore being aware that celiac disease runs in a particular family can be very helpful.

It is important to know that even if a full celiac panel comes back negative, this does not mean the child is not gluten intolerant. Additional research is sorely needed in the topic of gluten intolerance, but gluten intolerance appears to present on a spectrum, much like autism. At one end are individuals who test positive for celiac—the most severe of gluten intolerance. The rest of the spectrum is made up of the many individuals who should not consume gluten who do not have celiac disease.

This condition is frequently termed “non-celiac gluten intolerance”. Gluten intolerance is linked to a variety of conditions including infertility, poor quality dental enamel, neurological disorders, skin conditions, diabetes and a variety of autoimmune disorders. A person need not have gastrointestinal symptoms to be gluten intolerant.

At present, testing for gluten intolerance is not scientifically validated, although Enterolab has a stool test that appears to be fairly accurate in detecting cases of non-celiac gluten intolerance. Other labs also offer similar tests that can be helpful. Genetic testing for celiac disease is also available. A positive genetic test only shows if a person has the most common genetic markers found in celiac disease/gluten intolerance.

It appears possible to test positive on a genetic test for celiac disease and never develop celiac or overt gluten intolerance. Many labs offer blood and stool testing for dairy intolerance as well, I recommend including this testing along with testing for gluten intolerance. The testing topic is very complex and much is still unknown about the gluten intolerance- celiac disease spectrum. Most families will be best served working with a knowledgeable physician like myself throughout the testing process to avoid harm from misinterpreted test results.

I suspect that the children who are helped the most by a GFCF diet are those children who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance and reactivity to dairy products. A GFCF diet may yet be proven to help a wider group the autistic population and I strongly support further research. For now, it seems reasonable to begin with a test for celiac disease.

If this test is negative, expand testing to either stool antigens to gluten and dairy, and consider genetic testing. Individuals who test positive on any of these lab tests are probably more likely to be helped by a GFCF diet and should consider it more strongly than those who do not test positive.
Before implementing the diet, it is incredibly important to consider several important factors. Adequate preparation before starting a gluten-free, casein-free diet can make the difference between success and failure!

1. Does the family have the resources to purchase foods in a gluten-free casein-free diet that are often more expensive, and are these foods readily available? If not, is a family member willing and ready to produce home-made GFCF foods and are adequate supplies available?

2. Is there a commitment by at least one family member to keep accurate daily records of food intake and behavioral change to assess the outcome of this treatment?

3. Are there clinicians such as naturopathic physicians, pediatricians and nutritionists in the family’s geographical area who might assist in systematically assessing the gluten-free casein-free diet to ensure nutritional adequacy?

4. Does the child have a limited food repertoire that, if further limited by the gluten-free casein-free diet, might result in a dangerously compromised nutrition status?

Many children with autism have restricted food repertoires and may not consume a nutritionally adequate when food choices are restricted further. I strongly recommend working with a physician like me– someone who has a strong background in nutrition, or with a nutritionist who understand the GFCF diet.

There are many support groups available for families in need. Gradual transition to the GFCF diet, and “revising” old favorites to follow the diet may helpful. It can be hard to implement the diet when there are family members who are not following the GFCF diet. Parents may need special locks for cabinets and refrigerators, carefully watch their autistic child to ensure that they are not sneaking unacceptable foods and working closely with school personnel to ensure compliance at school.

The preparation aspect is easier if the whole family is eating GFCF otherwise, the family may need to prepare two individual meals at each mealtime! Shopping takes a considerable extra effort at first, but as the main food shopper becomes adept at reading labels, will become less of an issue.

Overall, I am encouraged by the reports of autistic children who have reported improvement on the GFCF diet. It seems reasonable to continue researching this area to determine if those children who respond favorably indeed test positive for celiac, gluten intolerance and dairy intolerance. At the same time, we may find that the children who do not respond favorably are indeed not intolerant to gluten and dairy!

To avoid potential harm from unnecessary dietary restrictions, I strongly urge all parents considering the GFCF diet for their child to have laboratory testing for celiac disease and meet with a qualified health care professional before adopting the GFCF diet long-term.

Families need support to successfully implement the diet and I believe planning and education are key to long term success. This allows families to being the diet with the best possible circumstances, and will likely lead to best possible outcomes for their child.

Related reading:

Celiac Disease

Eating Gluten-Free On A Budget, Parts 1, 2 and 3

Autism: 10 Strategies for Implementing Diet Changes

If you have any questions about celiac disease, you are welcome to ask them in the comments section and they will be addressed in future articles.

Dr. Selena Eon practices in Bellevue, WA and you may contact her at
(206) 228-9537 or visit www.drselenaeon.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Weight Loss

There is no cheating the system. In order to lose weight, one must follow the basic laws of physiology that you must consume fewer calories than you burn each day.

Or alternatively, you must burn more calories from exercise than you consume. Addressing the underlying causes behind poor eating and lifestyle habits is the ONLY way to ensure a healthy and long-term approach to weight loss.

The best approach to weight loss emphasizes lifestyle changes that incorporate whole foods and activity. It is our belief that sustainable changes in dietary and activity patterns can lead to maintainable, long-term weight loss success.

Physical activity guidelines are recommended to complement the nutrition counseling and make this process easier and more productive.

While each person has different needs and will require a custom tailored dietary program, there are some basic concepts that are helpful for most people. A health promoting, weight control diet will be:

• HIGH in fiber-dense carbohydrates found in whole grains, beans, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Also, it is important to drink plenty of water (approximately 2 quarts per day).

MODERATE in fish and chemical-free lean meats (chicken, and turkey).

LOW in red meat, animal fats, hydrogenated oils, full-fat dairy products, pre-packaged, processed, and refined foods, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.

General Tips
• Set a realistic weight loss goal, usually 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended.
• Balance food intake with activity. The most successful weight loss programs combine increased activity with decreased caloric intake.

Tips to Increase the Amount of Physical Activity in a Day:
• Try some group activity classes at the local gym, fitness center, or swimming pool.
• Work out with family, friends, or neighbors. Motivation is increased with partners.
• Take a walk at lunchtime.
• Use a bike to run local errands and go for pleasure rides.
• Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
• Walk to the bus stop or work
• Park the car a few blocks away and walk.
• Dance to some favorite music at home or sign-up for a series of classes.

Tips to Reduce the Quantity of Food Eaten:
• Plan and prepare meals ahead of time.
• Identify foods that are often over consumed and set limits, or avoid.
• Identify and limit problem foods.
• Eat small, frequent meals and healthful snacks.
• Eat slowly and savor each mouthful. Allow 20-30 minutes for each meal, rest, set the fork down, and/or converse between bites. Chew the food well.
• Wait 10-15 minutes before taking a second helping.
• Serve food on a smaller plate.
• Drink two glasses of water or a cup of hot tea 30 minutes before meals to reduce appetite.
• Postpone a desired snack for at least 10 minutes. It may be helpful to take a walk, get some fresh air, drink a cup of water or tea, or take a short nap during this time.
• At restaurants eat half of the portion and take the rest home. Prepackage the food to go before starting the meal.
• Nurture with nonfood related activities, such as a hot bubble bath or a massage, developing a hobby, relaxing with a good book, or listening to some music.

Tips to Eliminate Eating Cues that Promote Overeating:
• Designate a specific place in the home to eat, preferably the kitchen or dining room. Eat snacks and meals only when sitting down at this place.
• Avoid watching TV, talking on the phone, reading, or driving while eating. This will help increase the awareness of fullness.
• Do the grocery shopping on a full stomach to decrease impulse buys.
• Create a schedule for eating. Plan meals and snacks at regular intervals, including the types of food to be eaten.
• Carry food to work or when going out, to eliminate long periods without eating.
• To prevent visual food distractions, keep all food stored in the kitchen cupboards or refrigerator, rather than out on the counter.
• Read or listen to motivational books, join a support group, or consider seeing a therapist to help with any emotional issues involving food, eating, and/or weight loss.

Diet, activity, and emotional work can provide feelings of health and wellness, which establish new patterns that support and nurture the body.

Think well! Eat well! Be well!

Related reading:

Why You Should Invest in Fitness

Are You on the Sumo Wrestler Diet?

Rock it – Pilgrim Style

How to Eat Healthy While Traveling

6 Steps to Calorie Counting in Your Kitchen

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Anti-aging Tip: Eat Dates!

PhotobucketBy Rod Newbound, RN

Although the exact origin of the date palm is lost in antiquity, it is known to have been used in construction of the temple of the moon god near Ur in Southern Iraq (Mesopotamia) as early a 4000 BC.

Dates were considered very important in both the Jewish and Islamic religions, and were believed to be a curative for many ailments.

Ancient Phoenicia was known as “the land of palms” and no doubt dates sustained them as they sailed around the Mediterranean and became the predominate maritime trading culture of the time.

Nutritional Powerhouse

Dates are one of the most nourishing natural foods. Containing 3,000 calories per kilogram (2.2 lbs.), just a handful taken with a glass of milk, can provide all the nutrition a person needs for the entire day. And because the natural sugars in dates are fructose and glucose, diabetics can safely consume them. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

The 17 Grooviest Green Foods

#1 Cabbage: Of course since we are celebrating St. Patties Day we MUST celebrate cabbage! Recently I went to an Irish Pub and ordered corned beef and cabbage, and was horrified to find out that the beef is “corned” because it is brined with corn sized pieces of salt!

Hold the corned beef, but keep the cabbage because it is a powerful cancer fighter thanks to the indole-3-carbinol content. This is also a great breast cancer preventative for women as it decreases the “bad estrogen” and increases the “good estrogen.”

Meaning that the estrogen known to increase reproductive cancers is eliminated.

#2 Olive Oil: I cannot speak highly enough for the virtues of using olive oil as your primary cooking oil in your kitchen. When baking or cooking at temps greater than 340F switch to canola oil. Otherwise, olive oil is a RICH antioxidant source as I stated in my article, “Olive Oil Prevents DNA Damage.” If olive oil is NOT green….it is NOT good. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

My Basic Vitamin Program

“What Vitamins Should I Take?”

Is the most common question I get as a Naturopathic Physician.

I typically believe the average person that doesn’t eat “perfectly” ie:

  • Eats the “Basic American Diet” (BAD) of white refined, processed foods
  • Doesn’t consume 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies daily
  • Eats Fast Food several times a week Read more
Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Anti-Aging Diet

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

“If I could turn back time….”  name that tune!

The fountain of youth is not that difficult to find. Really it is inside of all of us. It simply starts with making the better decisions when at all possible.

Let’s face it, nobody wants to BE old, nobody wants to LOOK old, and most importantly nobody wants to FEEL old. he bad news is that aging is just a reality of living.

The good news is that to some degree we can reverse the aging process, if not drastically slow it down through better diet and lifestyle decisions. After working eight years in patient care, two of which were spent with a dermatologist I have concluded that the best “preserved” older people are those that exercise, eat right, and have positive mental attitudes.

Botox and collagen will only take you so far, and in my opinion there is no substance that will give you that healthy youthful glow that only proper nutrition and exercise provide. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

The Tough Economic Times Diet

PhotobucketBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

Jay Leno joked last night that “the economy was so bad that women in LA had to resort to diet and exercise to look good.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle at that one.  Because the REAL dark irony is that a whole food diet and lifestyle will help you look a million times better than anyone botoxed or pumped full of collagen. Trust me, I assisted the dermatologist back in the day.

During these Tough Economic Times (TET) times we can at least laugh because laughter is still free AND it burns calories.

Despite the “Obesity Tax,” politicians have yet to tax us for laughter.  Perhaps I shouldn’t give them any ideas!

Feel free to leave your frugal “TET Diet” tip in the comments section.

As with everything, going with the flow seems to be the most logical cure for this economic crisis.

As we learn to move away from “Unfulfilled Consumerism” and make choices that are healthier for the environment as well as our pocketbooks, we can certainly remind ourselves of some great dieting tips brought on by these “tough economic times.”

Weight Loss Tips We can Learn from these Tough Economic Times:

1.  Drink a cozy warm mug of water in lieu of your expensive latte.  Warm water gives your intestines a bath, aids elimination, while still making you feel like you have a warm drink to comfort you during the traumatic morning time (well for me).  For more detox on the cheap just add a squeeze of fresh lemon.

2.  Eat less. Yes! I am guessing that since 1/3 of America is obese and many of us are overweight that we can just eat less. I love the Swedish Proverb, ““Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”

Maybe it is just because I am Swedish, or maybe it’s because it’s great advice.  But longevity studies indicate that the less we eat (within reason) the longer we live.  Never starve yourself as that slows your metabolism down.  Instead try eating five small meals a day.  Focus on whole foods and simply stop  bit before you actually feel full (more on this later).

3.  Chew chew chew your food! If we are eating less we need to be chewing more so that we can spend our time eating and not feeling like we are deprived because we are eating less. Spend the same amount of time eating less food. It works.

4.  Take a break. Everyone needs a break, especially your poor stomach. At the beginning of your meal, visually or physically divide your plate in half.  When you reach that half way point, take a little break.  Let your body digest for a few minutes, it takes about twenty minutes to register that we are even full so give yourself some time to ENJOY your food, and you may as a result spend less time eating.  That is more leftovers for later, remember “The Doggie Bag” is the hot new trend of 2009.

5.  Share your food. Not only will you look cool while you feel generous, but you’ll be reminded of how much you actually have, while secretly saddling those around you with those unnecessary calories.  We all know that the easiest way to look thinner is to fatten up those around us *wink*

6.  Split your food. If you aren’t the sharing type then visually split your food in half and eat the next portion of it the next day. Restaurants have trained us to think that a normal portion size is over 2-3 times of what it truly is.

I try to make three meals out of every restaurant meal.  A habit I got in after waiting tables and throwing pounds and pounds of food away after clearing tables all day. It was such a waste!

It may not have been cool before to ask for that “to go” box, but it sure is now.  Set the example.  Take the doggie bag, and remember that you can also save money on kibble by feeding your dogs leftover meat, veggies, cottage cheese, yogurt (non-sweetened), potatoes, and rice.  Just don’t give them too many grains, bread, wheat, sweets, etc.

7.  Focus on disease prevention. Staying healthy and eating the basic boring whole foods diet is exactly what prevents disease, and it is cheap!

8.  Walk everywhere. I know gas prices are down but still, it is really fun to challenge yourself with basic exercise errands around your urban area.

9.  Find a walking buddy. If you live in suburbia and can’t challenge yourself with walking to your errands, find a walking buddy (aka free counseling.) Since no one can afford real counseling during these tough economic times, remember that nothing makes people vent their stress like a nice long walk. Walking means burning calories, and spending time that we could be wasting eating.

10. Make it a Gym Date, as Fitness Trainer Bonnie Pfiester reminds us. You will be a cool role model, and for just a ten dollar guest pass, you can keep your date busy for several hours.

11. Drink water and only water. If your only beverage of choice is filtered tap water you will save oodles on both your pocket book and waistline. We never want to drink our calories. Read “One Soda per Day Can Change Your Waistline.”

12. Stressed? That is great, try eating less instead of eating more. It is not normal for us to be “running from the proverbial bear” while we are trying to digest a double bacon cheeseburger, curly fries, and a chocolate shake.

Under stress, our digestive systems essentially shut down while blood and oxygen are shunted to our muscles and cardiovascular system. The more stressed you are, the more you will benefit from a nourishing diet eaten while you are calm and sitting down.  Try a few minutes of breathing exercises before your meal. Over-indulgence is not your friend during TET times.

13. Plant your own food. Spring is the time to start thinking about cheap food you can plant and grow to enjoy later.  I love planting zuchini, squash, potatoes, onions, garlic, and so forth because they are so simple to grow as I mentioned in my article “The Top Eleven Laziest Foods to Grow.” If you don’t want to grow your own, make your kids do it by “Planting an Organic Kids Garden,” and that teaching activity should help kids eat more veggies. Don’t forget to let some “Berries Run Wild” on your property.

14. Grow your own herbs. Do you need to take stock in the tons and tons of supplements you are paying top dollar for in your cupboards, when the herb growing season is about to start? Many healing plants chock full of the antioxidants you are paying top dollar for, literally grow like weeds in your back yard! If you don’t spray your yard with pesticides you can use rosemary, dandelion, stinging nettles, garlic…and if you aren’t sure what to do with an herb growing in your yard…just ask me! If you are stressed you can easily grow lemon balm and lavender as I mentioned in, “The Fifteen Most Fabulous Herbal Sedatives.”

15. Eat at the Kitchen Table! If you can afford to eat out, then by all means please go out and stimulate the economy.  But for everyone on the TET Diet, eating out is bad for our wallets and our waistlines.  When Photobucketwe eat out at poor quality cheap fast food, fried, fatty places we are likely causing disease and not preventing it.

You should at least be eating one meal a day at the kitchen table if not two.  Kitchen Table time is important family bonding time, improves posture, digestion, and saves us in both the long and short run.  If you can make three meals at the kitchen table a day then you get  gold star!

What is your TET Diet tip?

Dr. Nicole

Related Reading:
Best Weight Loss Diet 2008
The Best Long Term Weight Loss Plan

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

How’s Your Digestion?

vegan.jpgBy Dr. Jody Stanislaw Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life. But how often do you actually think about the fact that the nutrients contained in the food you eat are what become your skin, your lungs, even your heart, and every other part of your body?! (You’ll think again the next time you reach for some chemical ridden processed food, won’t you?) And how can you make sure you’re absorbing the valuable nutrients contained in your food? By having great digestion! This means you have an easy and complete bowel movement first thing in the morning (and ideally after lunch and dinner as well…but if you at least have one every morning, you’re doing well), your belly feels comfortable after you eat without any bloating or pressure, and gas is a rare occurrence. So how do you rate? Digestive complaints (also referred to as GI complaints, which stands for gastrointestinal) are among the most common reasons Americans go to the doctor. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Superfoods! Superfoods? And Superfood Supplements?

By Dr. Jody Stanislaw, Naturopathic Physician

shutterstock_11241226Superfoods! I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz. But what exactly is the buzz all about anyway? What are superfoods? Do you really need to eat superfoods? What are the benefits? How do you choose which superfoods are best for you? Well, wonder no longer. Lets get right to the answers…

No surprise to anyone is the fact that humans today are busier and have more on their plate, so to speak, than ever before. We eat on the run, often literally standing up. We grab ready made meals as we rush to our next appointment. We finish meals in minutes, gulping down food that not only have we not been fully present for as we chew but have barely even chewed fully before swallowing. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Cheapest Health Foods

shutterstock_5570047By Dr. Nicole Sundene

Eating healthy on the cheap can be tough, but if you stock your kitchen with the healthy cheap essentials it should save a great deal in the long run.

I buy certain staples like organic cheese and organic butter when they are on sale and keep them in the freezer.

Consider buying your organic meats, eggs, and fish in bulk and store in a larger freezer out in the garage.

Remember we have to pay for our health one way or another. Prevention is key. The food that graces your kitchen table is the best disease prevention money can buy. President Obama thinks that we will never fix the National Deficit until we fix the Health Care Crisis, I think we will never fix the Health Care Crisis until we fix the crisis at our kitchen tables.

Here are my favorite cheap health foods:

Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

10 Healthiest Hospitality Drinks

June 19, 2009 by Kitchen Table Medicine  
Filed under Diet Tips, Kitchen Sink, Recipes

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

My Uncle Ron is a great guy, and at our last get-together he said, “You always are sharing all this wisdom from your Dad and even your brother-in-law on your blog…..don’t you have something wonderful to say about your Uncle Ron?”

Of course I have a ton of wonderful things to say about my Uncle Ron! First and foremost, anytime you go over to visit Uncle Ron he is quick to make you feel welcome by offering you a drink. He always has a great variety on hand.

In honor of Father’s Day I would like to recognize all the great father figures in my life, along with my own fabulous dad. Thank you all for being such amazing role models, and for always just being there. My Uncle Ron wins the hospitality award!

Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Food Allergy Elimination Diet

PhotobucketIf you or your physician suspect that you might have a food allergy you can follow these basic guidelines to best determine the food that is the culprit.

Symptoms of food allergies can be insidious or immediate and include symptoms such as: skin rashes, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, suppressed immune system, autoimmunity, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, brain fog, neurological symptoms and much more.

Because 70% of our immune system surrounds our gut in the form of GALT (Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissue) it only makes sense that food allergies and intolerances easily place a burden on our immune system.

Blood testing for food allergies may be helpful for children or patients that are unable to follow this regimented of a diet such as those with a history of eating disorders. However, blood testing for allergies is truly only 60-70% accurate.

The immune system creates either IgA or IgE responses to food. IgE reactions are immediate and typically result in anaphylactic shock whereas IgA allergies are insidious and most patients only notice improvement once the food has been eliminated for at least four days. Food allergy testing only identifies foods that create these IgA or IgE immunological responses; and not those that an individual is intolerant to. Lactose intolerance for instance is a classic example of a food like milk causing a problem such as diarrhea without the presence of allergy.

The gold standard for determining food allergies/intolerances is therefore the Elimination Diet. Be sure to follow the specific diet prescribed to you by your physician.

As with any health care suggestions given here be sure to check with your physician before attempting a food allergy elimination diet. Those with history of eating disorders whether active or dormant for instance are not candidates for this regimented of a diet. If you are suffering from any chronic health complaints you absolutely should not attempt this on your own and should be under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.

To identify foods that may be causing some or all of your symptoms. During the elimination period, foods that commonly cause symptoms are completely eliminated from the diet for one to two weeks. After your symptoms improve, foods are added back one at a time to determine which foods provoke symptoms. The following is a basic template used by many health care providers and may need to be modified to suit your specific needs.

FOODS YOU MAY EAT:

Cereals:Hot: cream of rice, quinoa cereal (Quinoa Flakes).
Dry: puffed rice, puffed millet

Grains: Rice: no wild rice but all kinds of other rice including rice products such as pasta (Brands: Pastariso, Lundberg), plain rice cakes, rice bread without yeast (Brand:Energy), mochi (found frozen or fresh in Asian stores), buckwheat (kasha), millet, quinoa (a quick cooking grain), amaranth, and teff

Flours: Rice, millet, quinoa, amaranth, teff, bean flours, and tapioca

Fruit: All fruits except citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit)

Protein: Meat: lamb and wild game meats such as venison
Beans/legumes: all beans and legumes, except soy and peanuts. Check labels of canned beans, dips and soups for sweeteners, spices and additives (Brand: Taste Adventure dried refried beans and split pea soup). Do not eat canned beans with chemical additives (EDTA)

Vegetables: All vegetables except tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and corn

Nuts/Seeds: All nuts and seeds except peanuts

Oils/fats: All oils except peanut oil, corn oil and soybean oil

Sweeteners: Maple syrup (pure) and brown rice syrup

Beverages: Water (plain, mineral or sparkling), rice milk (plain or vanilla – check labels for ingredients, gums are allowed but barley malt or corn syrup are not allowed), all fruit juices except citrus juices are allowed and all herbal teas are allowed

Condiments: All condiments are allowed except for chocolate, tomato products (catsup), pepper products (Tabasco, hot peppers), and vinegars that contain malt or other ingredients requiring elimination. Black pepper is allowed. Check all condiments to make sure that the ingredients are allowed.

Elimination Diet Guidelines

1. Do not eat any food that you suspect is causing symptoms even if it is on the list of acceptable foods.

2. Use only those foods allowed unless you check with your health practitioner. READ LABELS! “Flour” usually means wheat flour, “vegetable oil” may mean corn oil or soybean oil, casein and whey are dairy products, and potato and soy flour is in some gluten free foods.

3. Withdrawal symptoms may occur during the first few days or week on the diet. Some or all of your symptoms may increase temporarily. You also may experience symptoms that you do not usually experience. The symptoms usually subside within 10 days. The following may help you feel better: drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, buffered vitamin C, baths with Epsom salts or baking soda, naps and mild exercise such as walking.

4. The elimination diet may be followed for up to 4 weeks. When you have had 5 days in a row, without symptoms or your symptoms have decreased you are ready to challenge.

5. If no improvement occurs in 4 weeks, then the food substances were probably not the cause of your problem and you can gradually return to a normal diet.

HOW TO CHALLENGE

Start: Begin challenging when you have been on the elimination diet for at least 2 weeks and when you have had at least 5 days in a row without symptoms or at least your symptoms have decreased.

Challenge: Challenge one food or food group at a time, eating the recommended amount of food for 3 days in a row. For instance if you are challenging dairy you should have a glass of milk three times a day for three days. Try to use the purest form of the food possible. Cream of wheat is a better choice than bread when testing wheat for instance in order to ensure that the problem is the wheat in the bread and not the yeast or any other additives.

Stop: If symptoms occur, stop the challenge. Do not start the next challenge until you have had 1 full day free of symptoms.

When you challenge, keep a record of both your physical and behavioral symptoms.

Be patient, reactions can take up to 48 hours to begin. If you hurry your challenges, you are likely to end up getting confused and having to start again. If a reaction is doubtful, wait until the end of the challenge period and repeat the challenge to confirm a reaction.

Food Challenges: When challenging individual foods, eat one serving three times a day along with the elimination diet foods. Challenge for at least three days.

Occasionally some patients will have severe “anaphylactic” reactions to a food they are challenging. If you experience extreme symtpoms such as shortness of breath, sensation of your airway closing, swollen tongue or lips, redness or swelling of your entire body, or any other symptoms of an urgent nature do not hesitate to call 911. These symptoms can come on quite suddenly and it is better to be safe than sorry.

Meal Planning
Breakfast Ideas
• Mochi with cashew butter, peeled pear or apple
• Rice toast with cashew butter, pear
• Rice cereal and rice milk
• Rice pudding with soy milk

Lunch and Dinner Ideas
• Lamb, rice and green beans
• Lentil soup and rice crackers
• Cabbage soup and rice bread toast
• Beans and rice, lettuce salad
• Rice cakes with cashew butter, celery sticks
• Lamb, cabbage and rice soup
• Lettuce salad with cashews, celery, shallots and mung bean sprouts
• Rice pasta with parsley and green beans
• Bean soup and rice cakes
• Split pea soup and rice bread toast

Helpful Hints:
Eat as much as you want.
Add cold pressed oil to vegetables and rice for flavor and calories.
Read a good book (not a cookbook!)

RECIPES

Combination Cereals

Hearty Morning Cereal
1/2 cup amaranth
1/2 cup millet
1/2 cup teff
1/4 cup cashews

Sweet Rice Cereal
1 cup brown rice
1 cup sweet brown rice

Cashew Millet Cereal
1 cup millet
1 cup brown rice
1 cup cashews

Millet and Quinoa Cereal
1 1/2 cup millet
1 cup amaranth or quinoa

Place all grains and nuts in a fine strainer; rinse and drain. Toast grains in one of two ways:

Oven toasting:
Preheat oven to 350? F. Spread grains on a cookie sheet and toast in oven until they give off a nutty aroma (12-15 minutes).

Skillet toasting:
Place washed grains in a large skillet on burner and toast on medium heat, stirring constantly, until grains give off a nutty aroma (5 – 8 minutes).

Let toasted grains cool and store in sealed container. You can toast a big batch of several different grains at one time and store them in separate jars.
For the best nutrition, grind grains just prior to using in a small electric grinder or food processor. Once a grain is ground it begins to lose nutritional value within 24 to 48 hours. Store the whole toasted grains in labeled, sealed containers and grind the amount you need before cooking.

To cook ground grains into cereal use 1/3-cup ground cereal and 1 cup water per person. Combine cereal and water in a pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10-12 minutes. Using a flame-tamer or heat deflector on the burner while simmering the cereal helps prevent scorching or sticking.

Top plain cooked cereal with a little fruit sauce topping.

Amaranth Breakfast Cereal
1 cup amaranth
2 cups water
1 pear, peeled and chopped

In a small saucepan, bring the amaranth, water and pear to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed. Garnish cereal with maple syrup, vanilla or rice milk.

Rice Waffles
2 cups rice flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 cups rice milk
3 tbsp. safflower oil

Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the milk and oil gradually, stirring the mixture constantly until smooth. Bake in a hot oiled waffle iron. Serves 4

Rice Pancakes
1/2 cup ground cashews
1 1/2-Cup amaranth, quinoa or rice flours 1 1/4-cup water
1 tsp. baking powder 2 tbsp. oil

Combine dry ingredients, mix well. Combine liquid ingredients in small bowl, mix well. Stir into dry ingredients. Cook pancakes on preheated, un-greased, non-stick griddle or fry pan. When bubbly and brown, turn. As batter thickens, add water, a tablespoon at a time to keep cakes thin.

Minestra
1 head cabbage, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. sunflower oil
16 oz can white beans, drained

In a large pot, steam cabbage with a small amount of water. Cook until soft. Remove cooked cabbage from pot and add oil and garlic. Sauté garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the cabbage back to the pot with enough water to cover the cabbage by 1 inch. Add bean to cabbage and let cook for 30 minutes on low heat. Add salt to taste.

Nutty Drizzle (serve over grain, vegetables or pasta)
1/4 cup cashew butter
1/3 cup water

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan on low heat. Stir with a whisk until mixture is smooth and warm. Serve over your favorite grain, vegetables or pasta.

Quinoa Pilaf
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan on high heat. When quinoa comes to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Option: This mixture can be eaten warm as is or cold as a salad with added chopped vegetables.

Lentil Stew (6 servings)
1 lamb leg bone or 4 oz lamb blade steak, trimmed of fat and chopped (optional)
2 tsp. canola oil
1/2 green cabbage, chopped
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 cups green lentils, washed and checked for stones
chopped parsley

Heat canola oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add lamb bone or steak (optional). Sauté until brown on all sides. Add cabbage and garlic. Sauté until soft and just beginning to brown. Add lentils and water. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer with a lid on until lentils and lamb are very tender, 1-2 hours. After cooking, add parsley to taste.

Falafel
3-4 cups cooked garbanzo beans
5 cloves minced garlic
1 cup parsley
2-3 tbsp. safflower oil
3-4 tbsp. water
1 tsp. cashew butter
garbanzo bean flour

Mix all ingredients in food processor except the flour. When smooth, add flour until a thick batter/thin dough consistency is reached. Fry in oil in skillet until browned/crisp on both sides. Top with tofu dressing.

Black Bean Garlic Stir Fry
4 cloves garlic, minced
chopped vegetables (cabbage, scallions, leeks, celery, green beans)
chives and parsley, to taste
2 cups cooked black beans
4 cups cooked rice

Sauté garlic in a wok or large skillet. Add chopped vegetables and sauté until soft. Add chives and parsley and black beans and cook until heated thoroughly. Serve over rice.

Bean Dip
2 shallots
1/2 cup chopped leeks
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz cooked beans (Garbanzo, black, kidney or white)
1 tbsp. cashew butter
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. oil

In a small skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add leeks, shallots and garlic. Sauté for 5-10 minutes or until leeks are soft. While vegetables cook, add remaining ingredients to a food processor. When vegetables are cooked, add to bean mixture in food processor. Process until all ingredients are well mixed and texture is creamy. Allow to cool before eating.

Split Peas and Rice (serves 4)
3 tbsp. oil 2 cups brown rice
1 leek chopped 6 cups water
1 clove garlic minced 1 cup yellow split peas
2 tsp. chopped chives
2 tsp. chopped parsley

In a large heavy pot, heat 3 tbs. oil and sauté leeks, garlic, chives and parsley until leeks are tender. Stir in rice and cook for 5 minutes or until rice begins to turn white. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook covered for 20 minutes. Add split peas to the cooking rice and cook 30 minutes more.

Split Pea Delight
1/4 cup dried green split peas
1/4 carrot, sliced
1 1/4 cups water

Wash peas and scrub carrot. Put peas, carrot, and water in a small pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes. Puree in a blender.

Bean Salad
2 cups cooked beans (lentils, black, kidney, chick peas)
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 shallots chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp. oil

Combine the beans and chopped vegetables in a large bowl and toss until well mixed. Add oil and salt to taste and mix until beans and vegetables are evenly coated.

Rice Pasta and Vegetables
1 package rice pasta cooked according to package directions
2 leeks, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped or 2 tsp. dried
2 tbsp. safflower oil

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, shallots and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes until leeks are soft. Add fresh parsley and chives and cook 1 minute longer. Remove vegetables from heat. Add rice pasta to vegetables, mix well. Add salt to taste.

Rice Salad
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup celery
2 tbsp. fresh chives
1 cup chopped red cabbage
1 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup cashews
2 tbsp. oil

Toss brown rice with chopped vegetables and cashew nuts until evenly mixed. Add oil and salt to taste. Optional: add 1/2 cup to 1 cup canned beans or lentils.

Rice Pudding
* this recipe can be made with cooked leftover rice or uncooked rice
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup rice milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Place cooked rice in a pan with the rice milk. Heat on medium heat until most or all of the rice milk has been absorbed. Remove pan from heat. Add vanilla. If consistency is too hard, add more rice milk and return to stove.

To make this recipe with uncooked rice, add I cup uncooked rice with 2 cups rice milk and 1 cup water. Cook like ordinary rice. When rice is cooked, add vanilla.

Millet and Pears
1 cup millet
2 cup water or rice milk
1 pear, peeled and chopped

In a pan, bring millet, water and pear to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. remove from stove top. Mix well. If desired, add some rice milk for a creamier texture.

Fruit Sauce
Use 1 cup water per 1/4 cup cut-up pear or apple. Peel and slice the fruit. Place cut-up fruit and water in a pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the fruit is tender and water has cooked off (about 15 minutes). Puree in a blender.

If you are in need of support while on a food elimination diet feel free to leave your questions or challenges in the comments section. If you have a favorite tip or recipe for those on this diet please attach it as well for all to enjoy!

Just a note: Next month we’ll be focusing on food allergies – so stay tuned!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

Read more articles on allergies

References: Food Allergies and Food Intolerances

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

One Soda Per Day Can Change Your Waistline

PhotobucketBy Bonnie Pfiester Fitness Trainer

America’s obsession with soda has nearly doubled since the early seventies. According to the American Beverage Association, the average American drinks an estimated 54 gallons of soda per year – that’s about 19 ounces of soda per day. The average teenager drinks 31 – 42 ounces of soda a day.

What if I said you could drop 26 pounds if you just drank one less soda a day? It’s true. A regular 20 ounce coke accounts for 250 calories. One coke a day doesn’t sound too bad until you add it up over time and realize it could mean a couple of dress sizes. One soda a day adds up to a whopping 91,000 calories over a year’s time – that’s 26 pounds of fat.

“Liquid candy”, as many dentists call it, often times fall between the cracks when people begin a diet. Sometimes it is more obvious to get rid of unhealthy snacks, like cookies and donuts, and forget about what we drink. The truth is that a small can of coke has more sugar in it than most snacks. Although there are very few of us who would eat 10 teaspoons of sugar, we quickly drink it in just one 12 ounce can of coke.

To help feed America’s infatuation with soda, manufacturers and fast food chains offer more variety and larger sizes than ever before. When coke products first came out, they came in 6 ½ ounce bottles and were considered a treat. Now sodas aren’t special at all but more like a staple in most homes.

Manufactures have kept up with America’s demand for cola. Unfortunately though, more soda means more weight gain. If that wasn’t bad enough, now manufacturers have taken it up a notch introducing a large variety of “energy drinks”. What most people don’t realize is a lot of the “energy” coming from energy drinks comes from high amounts of sugar. Some popular energy drinks contain as much as twenty teaspoons of sugar in one can.

What if you aren’t a coke drinker? You’d be surprised how many calories are in beverages most people would consider healthy. Cranberry juice is just one example of a high-calorie ‘healthy’ pick, having 18 teaspoons of sugar. Other popular juices like orange juice, apple juice and grape juice are actually higher in calories than an equal portion of regular soda.

The bottom line is that you can’t forget how drinks affect your family’s waistline. There is nothing your body wants or needs more than water – especially living in Florida. Water should always be the go-to drink. Not only is it healthier for you, it can actually help improve the way you look.

~Bonnie

Bonnie Pfiester is a Personal Trainer, wife to the famous fitness trainer Steve Pfiester of the reality TV show “Fat March”, and owner of the women’s health club Longevity Fitness.

You can enjoy more of Bonnie’s fitness and beauty articles at www.BonniePfiester.com or here at the kitchen table by visiting the Bonnie Pfiester page.

You are invited to leave your fitness and sports nutrition questions in the comments below for Bonnie to briefly answer or write about in future articles.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Why Pomegranate Juice is Wonderful

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By Dr. Nicole Sundene

When the Pomwonderful people asked me if they could send me some of their juice to taste and report on, I was thrilled because I am already a huge fan, as I mentioned in my articles on “How to Make Your Own Sports Drinks” and “Healthy Herbal Cocktails.”

Plus all my readers know how I shamelessly love free stuff.

Heck even Oprah loves free stuff.

Although I don’t typically recommend any juice in lieu of whole fruits, a few juices such as pure pomegranate, blueberry, and cranberry and such are my exceptions to that rule.

The reason is that they are magical juices chock full of antioxidants. Now, be sure to read the labels and make sure they are PURE and not diluted with apple juice or grape juice, or even worse, the evil High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Pomwonderful is 100% pomegranate juice and thus does not contain the evil HFCS.

As I discussed in my article, “Trifecta of Red Wine, Tea, and Chocolate Shown to Improve Cognitive Function in the Elderly,” we need as many flavonoids in our diets as possible because these antioxidants fight the daily damage caused by free radicals that age us.

PhotobucketAlthough I was aware that pomegranates were a potent inhibitor of cardiovascular disease and a therapeutic food for gingivitis through its antioxidant mechanism (more potent than red wine or green tea according to the ORAC). After reading the literature, I learned that it also is important in prostate health and erectile dysfunction.

Antioxidants are the key to men’s health as I stated in my diatribe, “Chocolate Chips Better than Viagra?” The key to preventing disease is drinking pomegranate juice, and eating a diet rich in whole foods and other antioxidants.

When I asked my “normie tester” aka “normal person that doesn’t typically like ‘Bastyr Fear Factor’ healthy stuff I eat”, to taste the juice for me he said, “It tasted healthy and refreshing, but still had some sweetness to it. It didn’t have that “bitter” taste to it that other pure juices sometimes have. The bottle could be bigger though.”

I informed him that eight ounces was the therapeutic dose stated in the research trials was all he needed daily to prevent cardiovascular disease, prostate problems, and erectile dysfunction he said, “Give me 16 ounces a day!”

Try my PomWonderful challenge: 30 days of 8 oz of pomegranate juice daily and let me know how you feel.

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PomWonderful is the only juice company that has invested $25 million in medical research. You may find the juice to be a bit expensive but it is really worth every cent. And if you are already paying $40 a bottle for Mangosteen Juice, you should switch to Pomegranate or blueberry to save you money.

They actually make a pomegranate blueberry blend that is my personal fav.

My only complaint with Pomwonderful is that I can’t seem to find the green tea/pomegranate juice glass jars anywhere anymore and those make for the best travel jars for hot beverages, soups, and such.

My mom even came over and said, “Where did you get these great glasses?” And I replied, “Free with my Pomwonderful Iced tea!”

Pomwonderful juice is available in nearly every grocery store, and if you are looking for the fountain of youth I suggest you pick some up. This is one of my favorite healthy indulgences to recommend! It is 150 calories per 8 oz so keep in mind that this healthy “vice” doesn’t come without calories, but in my weight loss lifestyle plan I use it as the rewarding healthy indulgence that it is.

For more information about the research discussed visit: Pomwonderful.com
If you have a healthy product you would like me to taste and report on please contact us to make arrangements.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Eat Gluten-Free Without Going Broke, Part 3

PhotobucketBy Dr. Selena Eon, ND

It is handy to be able to purchase GF baked goods ready-made fresh or frozen. I will not try to dispute that. However, for long-term physical and financial health, I maintain that preparing these foods yourself whenever possible is a better choice. You get far more for your money and you choose the ingredients.

A person who does poorly with corn, soy or dairy may have extreme difficulty finding ready-made gluten-free products that are acceptable for them—preparing at home is an optimal choice. If your diet tends to be low in fiber, you can choose higher fiber flours and incorporate nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables into your baked goods. Home-made foods are also fresher and frequently taste better.

As a resident of the Puget Sound (Seattle) I tend to purchase various flours, mixes and certified gluten-free oats from Bob’s Red Mill as they are located in Oregon. I also use Pamela’s Baking Mixes as they are located in southern British Columbia (Canada). Both manufacturers pay careful attention to ensuring that their products are safe for individuals who need to follow a gluten-free diet. If you are an east-coaster, you might choose manufacturers if buying local is important to you.

PhotobucketWhen you cook or bake at home, you get far more food for your money. Depending upon the ingredients you choose, it’s likely that you could bake 24 muffins for what buying 6 would cost. There are some good gluten-free breads on the market, but loaves can cost over $9. Using a gluten-free mix, you can make a loaf at home for $5-6. With practice, a loaf can be made from scratch for approximately $4.

You can make multiple loaves at the same time and freeze slices for reheating later. A large pot of organic lentil soup may cost $8 to prepare and provide up to 20 meals—where a can of lentil soup might provide 2 skimpy servings for $2.79. A large home-made batch of gluten-free meat & vegetable lasagna using mostly organic ingredients may cost $25 to prepare at home and provide 25 generous servings, while purchasing a single frozen serving could cost over $5.

I do purchase ready-made GF baked goods. Please do not get the impression that I am in any way against them! I love that they are available and support producers of these foods whenever possible. But as a budget-conscious consumer, I choose use them sparingly as a convenient part of a healthy diet that focuses on vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes and sparing amounts of meat, poultry fish & dairy products.

Related Reading:

Eat Gluten Free Without Going Broke, Part 1
Eat Gluten Free Without Going Broke, Part 2

If you have any questions about celiac disease, you are welcome to ask them in the comments section and they will be addressed in future articles.

Dr. Selena Eon practices in Bellevue, WA and you may contact her at
(206) 228-9537 or visit www.drselenaeon.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Pesticides: The New Dirty Dozen

PhotobucketBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

There is a new dirty dozen out by the Environemental Working Group.

Check out the top 12 dirtiest most pesticide ridden foods we should buy organic and the “Clean Fifteen” that we don’t have to worry about so much.

Although we should always take a spin around the organic foods section even if we are on a budget, it is nice to know what foods are safe to eat non-organic.

Still organic foods are not always pricier than the pesticide grown alternatives. Pesticide free is good for the environment as well as our health.

I know everyone is strapped during these tough economic times, but remember that your money counts as ballots and the more you spend on organic, the more you support organic farmers, and the cheaper organic food will inevitably become, if not the standard.

And along with everyone else, organic farmers are likely suffering more than anyone because no one can afford pricier food.

Stop by http://www.foodnews.org/ to download the latest guide. And if you make a donation to the efforts of this group of scientists who are independently working to tell us what the FDA, and EPA won’t…you get a groovy magnet of the Dirty Dozen to put on your fridge.

You can download the guide for free.

Or just bookmark this page!

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Can you Guess the #1 Mineral Most Americans are Likely Deficient in?

March 24, 2009 by Dr. Nicole Sundene  
Filed under Diet Tips, Kitchen Sink, Minerals

PhotobucketBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

If I had to bet my life savings (well, during these tough economic times it’s worth about $53.76) on which mineral most Americans are deficient in…I would guess magnesium.

Now if you guessed, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, or chromium you may in fact be right, but I believe after working with many patients, that many common health problems are as simple as magnesium deficiency. In my article “The Nine Best Natural Medicines for Depression,” I discussed the importance of magnesium.

All doctors are always checking in to make sure that their patients have enough calcium, but they should be checking that they aren’t deficient in dietary sources of magnesium as well.

What is magnesium’s role in the body?

Magnesium helps SAMe donate methyl groups to form neurotransmitters, and is also needed for muscle relaxation.  It is also needed for over 400 enzymatic processes in our body, including detoxification pathways, and is also beneficial for constipation, muscle cramping, torticollis, acute angina after myocardial infarction, stroke, asthma, kidney stone prevention, dysmenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, acute gastrointestinal spasms or cramping, eclampisa, heart disease especially cardiomyopathy, diabetes mellitus, nocturnal muscle cramping, mitral valve prolapse, toxemia of pregnancy, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, lead toxicity, and fatigue.

The best sources of magnesium are leafy greens and whole grains. So it is no wonder so many people are magnesium deficient.

Think about it.

If you haven’t had a single serving of green veggies today, you likely are magnesium deficient.

Do you have eye or muscle twitches? Could be calcium or magnesium or both.

Taking a cal/mag supplement before bed is a great way to improve sleep, top off your minerals, and prevent those painful nighttime Charlie horses that occasionally happen. I always use calcium citrate vs calcium carbonate.

Keep in mind that too much magnesium can cause diarrhea, and that athletes and those with certain chronic health conditions may need more magnesium for muscle relaxation. Calcium and magnesium should be used at a 2:1 ratio.

Please check with your naturopathic physician before using magnesium as a therapeutic above the 400-800mg range as long term over use of magnesium may cause osteoporosis.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

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